Concept

Papunhank

Summary
Papunhank was born in the early 18th-century. He was a Munsee man whose ancestors were notable sachems. He spent his entire life growing up in the area around the Susquehanna Valley, a region which increasingly became embroiled in violence between settlers and Indigenous nations, including Munsee, Conoy, Nanticoke, Mahican, and Lenape. While Papunhank eventually converted to Christianity, during his early life he had been regarded as a prophet in Munsee society. Up until the 1750s he reportedly struggled with an alcohol problem but following the death of his father, he isolated himself for five days in the woods and was struck by a spiritual vision which had a profound impact on his life. He became even further devoted to God, and renounced alcohol and became a pacifist. Papunhank came to use aspects of both Christianity and traditional Munsee spirituality, and was seen as a medicine man by many of his people. Scholars such as Earl Olmstead have argued that white settlement pressure c
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